Causes of Dry Mouth
Dry mouth is an unpleasant symptom that can not only cause discomfort, but also be a sign of dangerous diseases or pathologies. Find out the causes of this phenomenon and find out how to solve the problem.
The oral cavity should normally be constantly moisturized by the salivary glands. Dry mouth is, in fact, a lack of moisture, the mechanism of development of which may be different. So, the most logical reason is the disruption of the salivary glands, but they occur, as medical practice shows, not so often.
Also, dryness can be provoked by excessively rapid evaporation of moisture from the mouth. And in some cases, the symptom is caused by various disorders of the processes and reactions associated with the processing of water and the maintenance of water balance. Anyway, frequent or permanent dryness is not normal.
Dry mouth, which in medical practice is called xerostomia, is only one symptom, which, as a rule, is the most pronounced and causes discomfort.But other signs are also possible, such as white plaque on the tongue, feeling of thirst, cracks in the corners of the mouth, excessively thick consistency of saliva, hoarseness, bitter or sour taste in the mouth, unpleasant smell, dyspeptic disorders (belching, heartburn), taste disturbances and changing food habits and so on.
Dryness and other signs listed above can disturb a person almost constantly or appear at a certain time of day: in the morning, in the evening or at night. And such a moment is also important, as it will allow the specialist to whom you should turn to, make a complete picture and make an accurate diagnosis.
There are many causes of dry mouth, and they can be very diverse:
- The most obvious reason is the lack of water in the body, that is, dehydration, in which there is also thirst, dryness of all mucous membranes and skin.
- If dryness occurs at night, then it is probably related to mouth breathing. In this case, the evaporation of moisture through the oral cavity increases, which causes an unpleasant symptom. But oral breathing is also only a sign, usually indicating a disease of the nose or pharynx, such as rhinitis, pollinosis, tonsillitis, sinusitis, pollinosis.Also, the respiratory process can be disrupted by the curvature of the nasal septum.
- If dryness occurs in the morning, you may not eat properly, for example, use salt, spicy, flour or fried, especially in the evening and or before bedtime. Such products violate digestive processes and require an increased amount of moisture for processing.
- Often, dryness is caused by excessive amounts of strong tea or coffee.
- Some endocrine diseases, such as diabetes mellitus or thyrotoxicosis, can interfere with water-salt metabolism and other processes, thereby causing dry mouth and many other unpleasant symptoms.
- Increased air temperature stimulates the active evaporation of moisture, including through the oral cavity.
- Kidney disease disrupts the processing of fluids and can cause dryness.
- Dry indoor air can also cause dry mucous membranes.
- Morning dryness is observed after the abuse of alcoholic beverages.
- Frequent and severe stress and some diseases of the nervous system. Nerve fibers are responsible for thermoregulation and, accordingly, evaporation of moisture.
- Increased and excessively intense physical exertion, in which the evaporation of moisture from the surface of the body and mucous membranes is accelerated at times.
- Often, this sign is a side effect of taking some medications, such as antidepressants, many antibiotics, diuretics, antihistamines, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and antihypertensives.
- Defeat of the salivary glands can be observed in certain diseases of an autoimmune nature, such as Sjogren's disease.
- Unfortunately, dryness can become an inevitable phenomenon in old age, which is associated with a slowdown of all metabolic processes and reactions.
- Tumors of the salivary glands directly affect the processes of salivary fluid secretion.
- Often a symptom occurs when passing radiation therapy.
- Injuries to the head or neck can cause serious damage to the tissues of the salivary glands.
- Improper oral hygiene, for example, the frequent use of aggressive rinses containing alcohol (this component dries mucous membranes).
- Vitamin deficiency and iron deficiency anemia cause certain metabolic disorders.
- Smoking.The fact is that nicotine irritates the mucous membranes and overdries them, and also narrows the blood vessels, which prevents normal salivation.
- General infectious diseases, accompanied by intoxication, vomiting, diarrhea, fever. All these symptoms provoke the elimination of fluids from the body and can cause dry mouth.
- During the menopause, women also often face this phenomenon, which is due to hormonal changes and changes affecting important body systems and metabolic processes.
How to solve a problem?
How to deal with such an unpleasant symptom as dry mouth? First of all, you should find out and eliminate its main cause, the only way you can forget about the problem forever. Therefore, if you are concerned about the considered symptom, then be sure to consult a doctor. He should prescribe a test that can include blood and urine tests, ultrasound (kidney, salivary gland, thyroid) and some other diagnostic procedures. After making an accurate diagnosis, a specialist will prescribe a treatment that should help if it is correct.
But what to do, until the reasons are not clarified, and dryness continues to bother? Use one of the following guidelines:
- Often, but in small portions, drink water. Better yet, hold it in your mouth for a while to fully moisten the cavity.
- Refuse the acute, salty, floury, fried and fatty foods, as well as strong tea and coffee. Eat more juicy fruits and vegetables: they contain water and stimulate salivation.
- To increase the amount of salivary fluid secreted, chewing gum can be chewed. In this way, you will, as it were, deceive the body and simulate chewing food, in which the oral cavity should be moistened with saliva.
- Elimination of dryness is possible with the help of sucking candies, but preferably not sweet, but minty, helping to get rid of discomfort in the mouth.
- If the situation does not change and is aggravated, the doctor may recommend specialized sprays - the so-called "saliva substitutes." Also some moisturizers for the oral cavity have a moisturizing effect.
- Use folk remedies. For example, you can chew dill seeds. It is also effective chamomile decoction, used for regular and frequent rinses: it not only moisturizes the mucous membranes, but also has anti-inflammatory effects.
It remains only to recall that dry mouth - this is not just an unpleasant symptom, but a sign of some pathologies and diseases, including dangerous ones.
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